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Indoor licuala grandis fronds drying out spontaneously


melodyt

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I received a young licuala with multiple fronds and trunks about two weeks ago from a nursery that grew them outside in Florida. Seemingly in the past few weeks or so, it looks like all the fronds on one trunk dried up entirely. I'm not a palm expert but it *appears* to there are multiple trunks in one root ball. 

It came unpotted and I put it in an orchid mix + sandy soil: basically 90% bark + soil in a plastic nursery pot within a cache pot. It sits about 10 feet back from a south facing window, obscured by furniture to avoid direct light, with around 40% household humidity. If you look at the images you can see some of the smaller fronds looking gray/dehydrated and evidence of where I cut off the completely dried out fronds/trunk. I water it about once a week? It was fine until last week

 

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Looks like root rot. 90% tree bark will give you lots of molds around the roots. Your mix for licuala grandis should be about 70 % hydro balls, and perhaps 20% sterilised tree bark and the pumuce or so, in your area. In the tropics you could get away with less forgiving soil mixes, but not where you are. Repot quickly because it does not look well. Also water with 3% hydrogen peroxide to kill fungus. The roots should look white. Do not leave it in a cache pot. These let the palm stand in water, which will promote root rot. When you water, you need to water overhead with abundent amounts of water to rince away eventual molds and such. I generally let mine dry out a fair bit before watering again. Good luck. 

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2 hours ago, maxum2610 said:

Looks like root rot. 90% tree bark will give you lots of molds around the roots. Your mix for licuala grandis should be about 70 % hydro balls, and perhaps 20% sterilised tree bark and the pumuce or so, in your area. In the tropics you could get away with less forgiving soil mixes, but not where you are. Repot quickly because it does not look well. Also water with 3% hydrogen peroxide to kill fungus. The roots should look white. Do not leave it in a cache pot. These let the palm stand in water, which will promote root rot. When you water, you need to water overhead with abundent amounts of water to rince away eventual molds and such. I generally let mine dry out a fair bit before watering again. Good luck. 

Thanks for your response. I don't think it's root rot, as rot usually presents itself with yellowing leaves. Also just pulled it out and the roots look fine. I actually thought it might be too dry, as I usually water quite sparingly. I put a bag over it overnight to raise humidity and some of the dried fronds opened up, feeling less dry, but have a pronounced bleached look to them.

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Root rot In palms is often mistaken for drying up. The appearance of the palm is that it did not get enough water which results in the reaction of giving it more water, which only makes the situation worse. The reason the leaves look dry is because the root system, affected by the fungus, is unable to deliver water to the plant. Not certain, but from what I can tell from your pics, the roots at the root ball don't look all that white. I have a lot of these palms (and also lost a lot), and I can tell you they are quite sensitive to root infections. That's why I told you what soil mix best to use, which in my experience gives the best results with this type of palm. I'll post some pics of this palm currently in my greenhousei n different soil types to illustrate the difference of growth and condition if you like. 

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No expert but with same palm...always indoors along with a few other species Joey etc that I bought from Floribunda and kept in same pot and media they use(volcanic rock) I only water them bi weekly. If I do it once a week I will loose them to over watering.   I have a moisture meter but they are worthless with media that isn't dense like volcanic rock is. it will almost always read "dry" on the gauge...which leads to over watering.

Now...that watering does increase a bit during the late spring, summer and fall when it's more active.  Mine all looked just like yours in the pictures and it happens suddenly.

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Up north here a common mix is coco coir and perlite since a lot of materials are not available to us but it works great!

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On 5/16/2020 at 3:45 PM, maxum2610 said:

Root rot In palms is often mistaken for drying up. The appearance of the palm is that it did not get enough water which results in the reaction of giving it more water, which only makes the situation worse. The reason the leaves look dry is because the root system, affected by the fungus, is unable to deliver water to the plant. Not certain, but from what I can tell from your pics, the roots at the root ball don't look all that white. I have a lot of these palms (and also lost a lot), and I can tell you they are quite sensitive to root infections. That's why I told you what soil mix best to use, which in my experience gives the best results with this type of palm. I'll post some pics of this palm currently in my greenhousei n different soil types to illustrate the difference of growth and condition if you like. 

Maxum, would love to see pics of yours in the greenhouse.  

Loch

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Sorry for the poor quality of the pics. Some were a bit burned by the sun, at the end of the winter. The temp during the winter was a steady 15C, except on sunny days, when it got really hot.

All from seed. Some of the smaller ones, I recently repotted to the soil mix I spoke of (more or less).

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Thanks for the help! Maxum is right; the palm has been deteriorating since and the largest frond shows yellowish patches. I've repotted it but I don't think it'll make it :/ Palms are so tricky for me

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Looks like damping off. Licualas need warmth (80F +) and high humidity (40% is too low).

Meg

Palms of Victory I shall wear

Cape Coral (It's Just Paradise)
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Zone 10A on the Isabelle Canal
Elevation: 15 feet

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Buying bare-root palms is a risky business.  Some are too finicky and don´t survive such treatment.   When I realised I couldn´t reproduce the tropical conditions in my greenhouse for my seed-grown Licualas, I tried growing  Livistona chinesis instead.  To my delight  they grow well for me, are less demanding  and look very exotic. I know they eventually grow too big  but in the meantime I can enjoy looking at the glossy, drooping green fronds. I think Livistonas could grow well in a living room as well.

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  • 4 years later...

Maxum: How did you start the licuala grandis by seeds. What were the steps you took if you

don't mind sharing. I have been trying for 2 years now growing the licuala from seeds but they

don't seem to take. I read online different ways that it was done and none of them worked for me.

Any reply would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

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In general, I germinate most seeds in an incubation cabinet I built more or less following a post I found here on palmtalk. The thing is heated either by means of a heating cable or an old type lightbulb depending if the seeds need light to germinate or not (like cyrtostachys renda). I use the baggy method using very rough coconut chunks as a medium. see pic below (those are Chambeyronia seeds by the way). That being said, I've had the most success germinating licuala seeds using a large closed jar (40cm high by 10 cm wide), filed with wet hydro balls and the seeds dispersed in the medium. This means light can get in. Not sure if that's important or not. I left the jar on a terrace in an appartment in Altea for 6 months during the winter until late spring. This means the temperature never got below 14C and sometimes went to 32C. This got me almost 100% germination. You could try this in an incubator if need be. I've had the best result with the incubator and coconut husk grow medium, also for licuala cordata, ramsayi, Licuala peltata var. 'sumawongii'...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you Maxum, I will try the jar with wet hydro balls and

see if my licuala grandis seeds germinate.

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